division, brigade and regimental officers shall appoint their own staffs, and each captain shall appoint as many sergeants and corporals as may be necessary." It was further provided: "that the volunteers, after being mustered into service as provided for in the first section of this ordinance, shall be considered as on furlough, subject, however, to be drilled at such times and places within their respective counties as their company officers may order, until called out for drill or actual services by their major-general."
On the same day that the above ordinance was adopted, the following proceedings on the floor of the convention (see Journal of State convention, 1861) were had: On motion of Mr. Chalmers the convention proceeded to the election of a major-general by ballot. The president appointed Messrs. Gholson, Anderson and Beene to act as tellers. Upon the first ballot Jefferson Davis received 88 votes, Reuben Davis 1 vote, Earl Van Dorn 1 vote; whereupon Jefferson Davis was declared major-general.
Mr. Davis was then in Washington City. Returning home, he found his commission, dated January 25, 1861, at Jackson, awaiting him. He gave a few days to the work of dividing the State into military districts, apportioning the levy of troops and the formation of a staff, before retiring to his plantation, where he was when called to the Presidency in the following month. It is well known, however, that Mr. Davis neither sought nor desired the latter position. Perhaps it ought to be stated here, in passing, for the benefit of the uninformed only, that while Mr. Davis "was a firm believer in the right of secession, he was never a leader in the councils which urged the expediency of the exercise of that right," and that "the State seceded by its own act, through its own convention, through no agency of his."
The language above quoted is that of a memorial of his own people (the first legislature, fresh from the——————
- See Senate Journal, 1865, Mississippi legislature, appendix, p. 21.